Word from Current is that Pandora, the "Internet radio service that allows listeners to customize musical selections to their own tastes", is about to die, fiscally. The article says it's chiefly because of incredibly unreasonable licensing fee structures the music labels have set up, and refuse to back down from.
The tone of the article is that, while it'd be sad to see Pandora go away, it might be for the "greater good". In the sense that, in order for the "big, bad, archaic music labels" to ultimately die, every possible revenue source for them must be destroyed first in order to choke them into submission.
I often espouse the "creation through destruction" manifesto...the Tyler Durden Eight Rules About Life, if you will. But here I fear that while it may be the only strategy, it is still a failing one.
I say that because, if I may speak bluntly, many music labels are cockroaches. They're impossible to kill. They're run by soulless, slimy bastards who know that there will always be some wide-eyed doe of a musician willing to sign their life away for peanuts in a deal that makes the label rich and screws everyone else. The music industry seems to attract these kind of people like rats to garbage. Actually that's unfair, the media industry as a whole seems to attract those people. Lord knows I've dealt with quite a few of them in various jobs I've had working in radio, and I've been lucky to only have to deal with a few since I'm mostly on the college/non-commercial side of things. The lessor dollar amounts inherent to this side of radio tends to mitigate the sliminess somewhat.
If you're of the industry and offended by what I'm writing, I say that by no means has everyone I've worked with been a soulless slimy bastard. And I'm not going to say here who I think was one. If you can't handle the potential of accusation, you either don't know me very well or perhaps you need to re-examine your career choice. ;-)
Getting back on topic, the music labels seem determined to pursue a self-destructive model of royalties. A model that guarantees their eventual destruction through alienation of every other participant in the process. A model that maximizes what little short-term gain can be had...and it's not much...at the expense of potentially (and likely) destroying everything in the long term.
But it will be a long, slow and painful death match to that "long term", my friends. These are people who have made a living out of cheating, lying and general scumbaggery for at least forty years. They will learn how to eat their young for a long time before the inevitable finally occurs.
So don't hold your breath thinking that Pandora's death will bring change anytime soon. It will have to get much, much worse before that happens. And it's a damn shame.